Morton Skullman the Man Skull, oil on panel, 12x9"

Morton Skullman the Man Skull study, oil on panel, 12×9″

I painted my skull model, whom I call Mortie Skullman, to kick off my painting for 2015 since my plan for this year is to focus on portraits, mostly of people (but also of dogs of course, my favorite subject). The process I followed for this study was based on the approach David Jon Kassan takes on his online skull painting video, “Premier Coup” (only $1.95 to rent for 1 week). It was fun painting along with him, taking inspiration from the thoughts he shared as he worked.

The process starts by drawing and blocking in with PanPastels using Sofft Tools and then moves on to oil paints. You can paint over PanPastels without need for drying time or fixative and they can be completely erased with any eraser, making them ideal for underpainting.

Below is the setup and most of the painting sessions in progress. I wiped off and started over on some areas a couple of times because I had skull envy: Kassan’s skull is a handsome bone-white handcrafted model unlike my inexpensive, yellowish plastic skull. I intended to paint mine as if it was whiter but lost focus a couple times and painted the yellower color I was seeing, which didn’t match the rest. I do better when I try to match or exaggerate the colors I see, not fake them.

Faces, Oil Painting, Painting, People, Portrait
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